Video

Days of Summer

Yesterday was seemingly the first real day of summer and so being that I had a day off and the camera gods were willing me, I took my little Sony NEX 5n hombre out for a little spin and this was the result.

It worked out quite well overall. I have to admit, at points I really missed not having a view finder, particularly with the sun in the sky, but at the same time live view is great for filming video, particularly for panning body shots.

Regardless, the result is above. It would be great if you could give it a little viewing and give me some feedback. Or not. Either way is good. Well not really, I would very much prefer the first and you would be nothing more than horrible horrible people to act otherwise.

Equipment
1 x Sony NEX 5n
1 x Sony 35-80 kit (f3.5-5.6) lens
1 x Sony 22mm (f2.8) lens

1 x Manfrotto monopod

Song: The Weeknd – Birthday Suit (Get Loose Remix)

Can I recommend listening to the song through headphones. Or at least accompanied by a big old sub-woofer. You know, for bass and shit.

Advertisements
Video

Busta’s Lament

On occasion, where I’m not raising awareness on the topic of the extinction of corduroy based clothing in the world (did you know that every five minutes – a pair of corduroy trousers are archived into some dusty loft, never to feel the touch of nerdy finger again), I like to play around with my camera. I have a new one now – I bought into the contemporary mirrorless interchangeable lens market and now am very happy with a Sony Nex 5N. It was predominantly to start making films but the picture quality is SLR equivalent – the sensor is certainly comparable. If that camera was the equivalent of a lady, we would have some very sore fingers and a very disappointed lady.

Anyhoo, this is a trial run with the little bitch. Let me know what you think. Alternatively don’t – but the feedback lords will have taken your names, you un-critical bastards.

Video

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTgwNzgyODgw.html

One of my favourite scenes from one of my favourite films, (covering one of my favourite songs) in the last 10 years. The original medley is a show tune from a production called Pal Joey, which I have never seen, but I think it’s about a gentleman called Joey. I may be wrong. The website youku, wouldn’t let me embed the song, for reasons unknown. Also, I should add, the reason I didn’t take the equivalent clip from youtube, is that the video looks like it has been filmed using a one eyed toaster. I have more pixelations on my pixelated penis then that entire clip in general. I’m just saying – I’m not making a reference to being endowed or anything and I’ve certainly not become more oriental in the last few days so to have me wondering on far east web pages. I have no idea what is going on over there.

This song, moves me like no other. Ella’s voice speaks for itself and resonates through my screen as if she were sat here singing to me in person. I have always loved Ella Fitzgerald but there are times when I love her more than others and this lazy late morning might just be one of those occasions. The recording is peppered with idiosyncrasies and intentional errors, which make it just that much more endearing. Perhaps also the only song in the history of popular music which references words like “dyspeptic” and “anti-septic,” and manages to sound genuine. A fantastic piece of recording history.

The History Boys for those of you who are unfamiliar, is one of the greatest, most unsung British films (based on an Alan Bennet play) of the last decade. As someone who is oddly obsessed with the 80’s, the tone of the film is beautifully set in working class Sheffield, following the dreams of eight boys on their quest to gain entry to the elite universities of Oxford and Cambridge, whilst grappling with their sexuality, each others, poetry, paedophillia, literature and of course history. The one thing that ruins this film for me somewhat is the addition of James Corden as the chubby Timms. As a sane and rational human bean, I cannot help but take a profound dislike to this man. A sincere, bilious and dedicated dislike to him. He is also a West Ham FC fan, so that does not entirely help matters. In any case, he does little to take away from the film in general. It is in general a droll and delightful affair and makes me want to go and listen to the Smiths at full blast whilst riding around on my Chopper before the dawning realisation that Morrissey is an unashamed hypocritical genius racist, thus bringing the episode to a close. There’s always one isn’t there. Here are some of my favourite quotes from the film.

Mrs Linott – “Actually I wouldn’t have said he was sad. I would’ve said he was cunt-struck.”
Hector – “Dorothy!”
Mrs Linott – “I’d have thought you’d like that. It’s a compound adjective. You like compound adjectives.”

“History, it’s just one fucking thing after another.”

“Durham was very good for history. It’s where I had my first pizza. Other things too, of course, but it’s the pizza that stands out.”

Dakin – “Lecher though one is – or aspires to be – it occurs to me that a lot of women cannot be easy, who must suffer such inexpert male fumblings, virtually on a daily basis. Are we scarred for life, do you think?”
Scripps – “We must hope so.”

Scripps – “You complacent fuck.”
Dakin – “Does the Archbishop of Canterbury know you speak like this?”

Mrs Lintott – “History is a commentary on the various and continuing incapabilities of men. What is history? History is women following behind with a bucket.”

Jim Carrey and what he doesn’t know about Vaccinations

Jim Carrey’s a pretty funny guy. I grew up watching him cavort across my screen in all manner of ludicrous performances, like a drunkard mongoose and regardless of whether the film was good or not, I usually found some favour within it. I would still count Dumb & Dumber amongst my all time favourite films and I have lost count of the number of times I have watched the convulsing police officer drink Lloyd’s bodily excretions; you simply cannot put a price on physical comedy. Carrey subsequently did what most OH-MY-GOD-I’M-SO-RICH-LET’S-URINATE-ON-EACH-OTHER-FOR-FUN actors in his position do and shacked up with the first female he saw with a halfway decent face and ample mammary glands. Unfortunately for him however, this happened to be Jenny McCarthy, idiot extraordinaire (I’m not sure if that’s her official title). Why? Well, put simply Dr Jenny feels contrary to almost universal scientific opinion, and links vaccinations to autism. Her and Carrey’s views are by no means unusual – by any account, the world is inundated with morons. What makes their moronity particularly noteworthy, is their irrefutable office in the tabloid auditorium. People listen to them.

Edward Jenner, the father of immunology initiated an almighty shift in the management of communicable preventable diseases, when he inoculated a 6 year old boy suffering with smallpox, with pus from a cowpox pustule. The boy was cured and the first vaccination had taken place. In 1979, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Smallpox an obsolete diagnosis. It had been removed from the spectrum of human disease. Let me reiterate – Jenner had made a considerable dent in the removal of short people in our world. Of course there are those that still remain and they are recognisably irritable and obstreperous but the problems of knowing where you’re going to keep them, what you’re going to feed them and how often you’re meant to take them out for a walk are issues of the past. Because of Jenner, the world is a taller place.

Next on the agenda of disease eradication is Poliomyelitis, a mortally inflicting neurological disease which although holds no cure, is confidently preventable by means of the Polio vaccine. Via means of a concerted and applaudable effort from the WHO, the condition has been cut down with devastating precision to the tune of a 99% reduction in incidence and today only three unfortunate countries are claimed as endemic – Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Considerable headway had been made to declare the disease obsolete by 2018 via the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, until some ominous reports of the murder of vaccination volunteers emerged from North Pakistan. Astonishingly, both the CIA and the Taliban were implicated but the program has pressed on regardless. Maybe that manner of response was to be expected, maybe not, I really don’t know. In either case it makes for disconsolate reading.

IMG_4151

Let’s be clear; no child born today should be die before their fifth birthday. The communicable preventable diseases that once rendered childhood a formidable and precarious journey are exactly that – preventable. Our resources should be extended from the affluent surpluses of the entitled, to the provision of improved public health for women and children, the world over. Our efforts should counter the dire inequalities our political constructs have established and give every human on this planet a chance to live.

Only not according to McCarthy. Not according to Carrey. Citing anecdotal evidence concerning the constituents of vaccinations and an association to autism, celebrities in the anti-life lobby feel qualified to unsettle a lifetime of immeasurable action taken on behalf of the medical community to rid the world of communicable diseases. Quite where or how this competence was attained has escaped me and if anyone has an idea I’d be extremely grateful for some input. Please email me at fuckjimcarrey@SMOKIN.com. I don’t know – maybe McCarthy felt a need to point a finger of blame, given her kid has autism. Perhaps Jim Carrey had nothing better to do. Perhaps they stumbled across the work of a very refined sort of pleb, Andrew Wakefield. Let’s talk about him.

Andrew Wakefield was an English Surgeon working at the Royal Free Hospital in London when he made the eye brow raising association between the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination and autism. I say eye-brow raising because that’s all we do in England really – raise eyebrows. We lack the capacity for full blown animation, but trust me, beneath those eye-brows, we were climbing across the ceilings. In a paper published in The Lancet in 1998, Wakefield suggested that a link was to made between the rising incidence of autism and possibly inflammatory bowel disease and the use of the MMR vaccination was of blame. Via succeeding reports, he advocated a triple stage vaccination, with each component of MMR given at separate intervals. The medical community went ballistic. Parents who had already been sat on the fence, jumped well and truly off into a lifetime of poor decision making on behalf of their hapless children. I was too young to be aware of what was happening at this point, so I can’t tell you what my reaction was. It probably wasn’t too constructive, I assure you.

IMG_4152

Anyway, what Wakefield omitted to mention was the following. Several years prior to his ludicrous paper, he had been hired by a solicitor called Richard Barr who had intentions of bringing a class action law suit against the manufacturers of the MMR vaccine. The idea of this collaboration was to bring the vaccine into disrepute. Around the same sort of time, Wakefield craftily pitched in his own vaccine patent for Measles and made his merry way to the bank, laughing malevolently and rubbing his hands with glee. I might have made that last part up. In either case Andrew Case was a very naughty man. In the end, following some remarkable investigative journalism, Wakefield was exposed for the twat he was and his medical career was swiftly ended, at which point he fled to the US to be embraced with open arms by the anti-vaccination lobby. Americans eh? All of this I could probably ignore, I possess the necessary requirements of apathy, but this is where the situation really begins to stink. His original paper was based on un-ethically conducted investigations on 12 children. TWELVE CHILDREN. Is that a representative population? Where is the sample size calculation? What was the inclusion criteria? What was the p value? WHAT’S WITH THE SHITTY STATS BRAH? I can put up with a lot but I have no time for poor mathematics. No time whatsoever.

Every 2o seconds a child will die of a vaccine preventable disease. 17% of the global mortality of children under the age of 5 will be due to innocuous causes. There are 30 million children in the world today who are at risk of never having the chance to live due to failure to vaccinate. The issue is one of poverty and inequality, of inhumane politics. Not of celebrity science. If a parent fails to vaccinate their children, their stupidity is not simply reflected upon their own unfortunate child, but also that of the community their child resides in. Herd immunity will only get you so far. The Anti-Vaccination Body Count have set up an online graphic representation of the lack of insight by Carrey, McCarthy and co, in an simultaneously hilarious and tear-jerking affair. To summarise, since 2007 there have been 113918 preventable illnesses in America, the result of failing to vaccinate and a further 1126 deaths. As of 2007, there have been no directly causal diagnoses of autism made following vaccination. Not a single one.

With respect to Jim, I’ll look forward to his next film, if he ever tries to make another. I’ll laugh at the funny bits and leave the cinema, having thrown a palpable portion of my pay cheque at some faceless multinational, thereby placating the conditioned materialistic part of my mind for the best part of several hours. Consumerism – Woo! As for vaccinations, 1.5 million children will die this year because of preventable diseases and that, is no laughing matter.

Video

Arsenal Football Club and a Lifelong Love Affair

For as long as I can remember, I have been a fan of Arsenal football club. There have been times where my passion for the club I love has waned as I have ambled through life one day quietly merging into the next but the allegiance was carved into the stony cage of my ribs from the day of my birth. I grew up watching Ian Wright run the premiership ragged and I have a cannon on my chest.

IMG_4441

I won’t bore you all with the details of why I love Arsenal so much, rest assured I do. When they win, I want to run down the streets of North London naked, but for a strategically placed hat (on my head) and hug and kiss the local constabulary, the contents of my groin gently rubbing on the long arm of the law. When they lose I want to cry (have you seen a grown man cry? It is freaking awkward, I mean where do you even look? Do you pat on the back? Do you hug? What exactly are you supposed to do? Nobody teaches you that man. Nobody teaches you shit.) and wail and tear of my clothes in shame. I want to run through the streets, naked but for a strategically placed baseball bat (in my hands) and beat the nearest squirrel to death with it, cursing the day both it and I were born, with a strange dilatation in my eye….. I find it odd to think that I mark Arsenal wins and losses in almost the entirely same manner. It is not something I’m proud off.

IMG_4750

Regardless, we Arsenal fans are accustomed to criticism. We ride wave after wave of negativity spun by the press, pundits, opposing fans, single mothers, that bloke down the road and the ward clerk at work, but we fight on, because we are a bunch of proud bastards.

This video has come the closest to making me cry in the last 10-15 years of my life. The last time I encountered this cusp was when Goran, a midfielder on my then football team (Pitshanger FC) placed all his weight, via studded boot, carefully on the contents of my scrotal sac. I have never been more emotional at any event in life until this video. Apart for a foul, deceitful, myopic, underhand, unfaithful, unbecoming, egotistical, dissenting, insufferable, smug, self-gratifying and un-endurable Dutch skunk, this video makes me proud to be an Arsenal fan. It makes me happy and that I will take.

We are in dark days but there is always hope. I am a firm believer in Arsene Wenger. I am a firm believer in us. Class is permanent, North London is red and I will always be Arsenal until I die.

Bechdel’s Law and why women don’t talk enough. No, seriously.

On the topic of empowering women, I read an extremely interesting article a while back which referenced a law, eponymously named The Bechdel Test. Of course, me being the unrelenting nerd I am, looked it up and discovered an extremely useful marker for day to day life. Day to day life cinematically speaking that is.

(WARNING: INCOMING SEXIST COMMENT) Women love to talk. What? They do, don’t tell me they don’t. Sometimes my girlfriend will talk, incessantly at length on a topic where I had truly and perhaps naively assumed beforehand that it was not impossible to harness more than a few earnest words upon; but no – there she will be toiling away, talking as if the more she speaks, than surely the greater the odds of me listening? Not so. She is fickle little flower, is my girlfriend – unaware of the ability of the male mind to zone right the fuck out. (Bear – if you’re reading – the two elements are inversely proportional. The more you talk, the less I listen….. Please don’t hit me)

So anyway, for arguments sake, let us presume I am right (I am right) and women in fact do expel words more frequently than breaths. In this world, you’d presume they’d find more to talk about than the lamentable actions of their gender counterpart. It is not the case my friends.

Popular fiction has been conducted with an inherent streak of gender bias, such that women cannot bear to encounter one another without the topic of a man arising. It has become such a problem that there is genuine concern that women are being raised in a culture, conditioned to thinking that their lives revolve around men. They most certainly do not. Of course, the more individual and free thinking of you ladies out there will have recognised this from an early age and you are the fantastic specimens you are as a result, but unfortunately the more impressionable of you out there may wish to consider the following.

Bechdel’s law, is a simple application to any film (or any piece) of fiction where

  1. There are at least 2 women
  2. These aforementioned talk to each other
  3. These women talk to each other – besides something other than a man.

The scary thing is how few films meet these three stipulations. The third one is the killer, most films managing to satisfy the first couple of statements, falling flat on their face on the third, drowning in a sea of chick flicks as far as the eye can sea.

This website is an excellent resolve to this. Parents, empower your daughters. Teach them life is about them and not a man. Ladies, carpe diem. There is more at stake than whether a boy likes you or not. I for one, when I finally convince someone to raise a child with me with pray like there’s no tomorrow for a boy (no hassle – won’t need to raise fisticuffs with future boyfriends). Failing that, I will raise my daughter on a strict no-Taylor-Swift-diet and in the image of her mother. A woman with dreams and a future.

Video

XXYYXX

Every once in a while you hear a song that gouges it’s way deep into some hidden passage within your soul, so deep it flies through the networks of nerves coursing through your body, giving the imperative order to ominously seize in a corner, limbs flailing whilst beating the nearest person to death with a rotting aubergine. What? Just me?

Either way, regardless of your current vegetable status I am sure you can find some time to sit in awe of the simultaneous genius of both musician and director in this piece. It has been declaring itself periodically to me for several months now and it is worth a mention.

In the sea of night where my soul is real

Broken visions let the darkness heal

And the dream of life will surely reside

I can hear your heart, I can touch your skin

Feel the whole world breathing from within

I can live it here forever inside